Balloon HQ: IBAC15 and the 1999 National Halloween and Party Show

May 31, 2024

IBAC 15, 1999 Photographs

If you have photographs from IBAC 15, Ed Debevics, or the National Halloween and Party Show for 1999 , please submit them to Balloon HQ.

Whew, are my feet tired! I got back late Sunday from a whirlwind weekend of balloon worship in Chicago at the combined events of IBAC and the National Halloween and Party Show. From many people’s impressions, I gleaned that the caliber of work at IBAC… in the atrium sculpture, the classes, and the competiton was excellent as ever.

The mural in the Atrium

More than 1,150 professional balloon artists worldwide attended the 15th annual International Balloon Arts Convention (IBAC), March 10-14, in Rosemont, IL. 200 of the convention delegates helped construct the world’s largest balloon mural. Made with 70,884 Qualatex latex balloons and standing 86 feet high x 58 feet wide, the mural depicted downtown Chicago on New Year’s Eve and took a total of 1,300 man hours to construct and perfect.









Balloon Twisters are Cool

Cruising through the hallway as the 260 classes let out, I could see lots of enthusiatic people and great sculpture ideas. Marvin H.`s letters, Royal S.’s cartoon caracters, and Chris H’s neat new trick of creating a pose-able string of bubbles. (place floral wire in a 260, then inflate. twisting bubbles with the wire running down the center, which somehow holds each twist in place, makes a bendable, flexible bubble string.. utlra cool!)










Competition Sculptures

Large Competition Pieces

The small, medium, and large scuplture competitions were excellent, as always. The first place large-sculpture winner, a rendition of Disney’s/ Pixar’s Flik from A bug’s Life was a sight to behold. Neat ideas that really caught my eye included: (1) the rotating clear donut balloons filled with small white numbered balloons in the ‘ibac bingo’ machine, (2) custom foils in the shape of card suits, and (3) utilizing round donuts as giant beads to represent a kachina doll.


Reproduction of the Disney/ Pixar character flik, from A Bug’s Life.
The clear balloon has the needed official logo (which unfortunately you can’t read here).







Centerpieces and displays





Contest entries for small scuplture with time limit




Ed Debevics

The Friday night twister’s outing to Ed Debevics saw little jamming this year. Although a private room was reserved for the twister’s, a large contingent of additional balloon decorator’s made the space too cramped to twist. To give you an idea, Larry and Royal each only made one thing that evening! It was fun helping Royal celebrate his belated birthday, though. Everyone had a good time.



Larry Moss’s parachute made of hearts makes a great beanie!


Royal communes with the King





The National Halloween and Party Show, 1999 Photographs

This year, I spent a lot more time than ever before walking the Halloween and Party Show. It, too, was outstanding, with many of THE movers and shakers in the balloon industry all in one place. The ‘Balloon Alley’ concept went over very well, although anyone too close to the BSA booth was severly in danger of becoming a target from Larry Moss and his flying 260s. The poor folks at the Creation Station table had nowhere to hide! I must say the ultimate highlight for me was seeing the Pioneer display of balloon dipping forms for each balloon they make. I touched the 160 and geo forms!

There are lots of great new products on the way, the Link-O-Loon group from Australia and the Yo-Yo Balloon booth were constantly surrounded by people. Theatre Effects had lots of great stuff; I was most entranced by the bubble/smoke machine that put out smoke filled bubbles. West Winds had wonderful new mini helium tanks and Conwin’s inflators/ sizers were as popular as always. The Hi-Float founders have a new educational video out, and have given BHQ permission to re-create their Hi-Float book entirely for the Guide. Larry Daniels has a new BalloonPro/ BalloonsAway drop net on the way, designed to drop 2000 balloons. (geez, Y2K stuff was everywhere!)

I also got to see recent issues of Weddings With Style and Balloons and Parties. Wow, these publications have beautiful photos, and are high-class publications (not that I didn’t know that already, but seeing is re-believing). Also, Balloons Everywhere had so much neat stuff, that I’d reccomend you take a look at their wonderful web site.



Link-O-Loons in action


West Winds offers new Express Helium Rental Kits

The entrance to Balloon Alley

Creation Station puts you in style

The high-level portion of the Cowin Carbonics display

The creators of Hi-Float Balloon Treatment





It was great seeing so many of the Balloon HQ sponsors, (and potential new sponsors, we hope) you all really put on a great show. If anyone is still reading, please head on over to Balloon HQ to see some photo highlights of IBAC 15 and the National Halloween and Party Show.


Sheena K. Beaverson
Balloon HQ, LLC